The team that brought us the cute animated adventure Ice Age deliver another enjoyable kids’ movie featuring impressive computer-generated animation that should entertain adults almost as much as tots. The story – set in a robot world populated by, you guessed it, robots – is simple enough. Mr and Mrs Copperbottom take delivery of a baby robot named Rodney (McGregor), who – in a nice twist on labour – they have to assemble in their living room. The family isn’t rich, so as Rodney grows he is given hand-me-down body parts, but he dreams of the day when he can rise above his station (Dad is a dishwasher – literally – at the local eaterie) and present his own inventions to big businessman Bigweld (Mel Brooks). Of course, when Rodney finally travels to Robot City, things aren’t as he imagined. Bigweld has disappeared, and the sleek, crafty Ratchet (Greg Kinnear) has taken over the company and is planning a nefarious scheme that threatens patched-together robots like Rodney and his newfound pals, including Fender (Robin Williams, doing his first voice-over since the Genie in Aladdin) and Piper (Amanda Bynes). Can our small-town boy save the day?
A possible love interest for Rodney comes in the form of Bigweld employee Cappy (Halle Berry) but this cartoon romp is more about the slick animation (check out the set-piece ride Rodney has when he arrives in town) and Rodney’s growing up from idealistic tin can to a robot made of stronger stuff than anything too cute and cuddly (it’s likely this will appeal more to boys than girls for this reason). Clever rather than warm, it’s an enjoyable diversion for most kids (the film received a PG rating on its cinema release for a few menacing moments) but ultimately not a classic one.
Is Robots suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
There is a scene in which a character is faced with being melted down that is a little scary, as are the bad guy robots. Madame Gasket (voiced by Jim Broadbent) and her antics aren’t too nice either.